Beam setting scheduled this week on new Interstate 70 West Bridge over State Road 121 (New Paris Pike)

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RICHMOND, Ind. — Drivers on State Road 121 (New Paris Pike) should plan for temporary traffic stops during daylight hours on Wednesday through Friday at the Interstate 70 bridge construction site near Gravel Pit Road.

Contractors plan to begin installing bridge beams for the new I-70 West bridge deck currently under construction on temporary supports in the interstate median. State Road 121 (New Paris Pike) traffic will be stopped for about 20 minutes at a time while each of the five bridge beams are lifted into place over the road. Interstate traffic will not be affected.

After each of the 71-foot, 14,000-pound bridge beams are in place, overhead clearance on State Road 121 (New Paris Pike) under the new bridge deck is expected to be about 15 feet.

Workers will then install deck pans and reinforcing steel over the following two weeks in preparation to pour the concrete bridge deck in late August. The deck concrete must cure for about two weeks before traffic is shifted for demolishing the existing bridge and sliding the new bridge deck into place.

Sliding the Bridge

The first (I-70 West) bridge slide is scheduled to begin on or after Friday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. I-70 West will be reduced to one lane, which will be temporarily diverted across the median for up to 13 days. Two lanes of I-70 East will be shifted toward the right (south) shoulder. One lane of I-70 West will share the eastbound side of the interstate, with opposing directions of traffic separated by temporary concrete barriers.

During that time, the existing westbound bridge will be demolished and the new bridge deck will be slid laterally into place. After the new westbound bridge deck is slid into place, the I-70 West pavement approaches to the bridge will be rebuilt and paved, and two lanes of I-70 West traffic will shift back onto the new westbound bridge.

Significant backups are expected on I-70 West while the interstate is reduced to one lane and diverted across the median. Motorists, especially those with local destinations, are encouraged to seek alternate routes during the 13-day period to minimize and avoid traffic congestion.

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